World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Assassination of Sheik Yasin Opened Pandora's box


Israeli Assassination of Sheik Yasin Opened ‘Pandora’s box’

Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) extra-judicially executed the founder and spiritual leader of the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas Sheikh Ahmad Yasin while leaving a mosque after he performed his predawn prayers in Gaza City early Monday.

“Pandora’s box has been opened. We are counting down” until the next Palestinian attack “and the question is how many Israelis will be killed,” said Yossi Beilin the former Israeli justice minister and co-author of the unofficial Geneva Initiative.

Hamas vindicated Beilin’s warning.

The Hamas leadership said, “[Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon has opened the gates of hell. And nothing will stop us from cutting off his head”.

Eight other Palestinians were killed and at least 15 others, including Yasin’s two sons, were wounded when IOF Apache helicopter gunships targeted Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmad Yasin with three missiles predawn Monday.

Yassin was killed while he was leaving a mosque in his wheel chair in the Sabra quarter of the Gaza city, Hamas said. He was paraplegic.

Three rockets fired by an Israeli helicopter hit nearby, killing Yassin, two of his assistants and six passers-by.

Palestinian President Yaser Arafat ordered in a statement Monday morning an official three-day mourning in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the Diaspora.

IOF sealed off the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory until further notice early Monday. The Israeli closure was declared both internally and externally.

The Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip went on general strike in public mourning immediately after the assassination of Sheikh Yasin.

Israel Radio said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had personally supervised the assassination of Yasin.

Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei described the assassination of Sheikh Ahmad Yasin by IOF as a “crazy, dangerous and cowardly act.”

Qurei urged the Quartet of US, UN, EU and Russia to “deter” Israeli ongoing shedding of Palestinian blood after the assassination of Sheikh Yasin, which he described as a “crime” aimed at sustaining the cycle of violence.

Palestinian Minister for negotiations Sa’eb Erekat demanded world protection for the Palestinian people and immediate international involvement to stop the “Israeli bloodbath” against Palestinians after the assassination of Sheikh Yasin.

The Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, vowed to avenge the assassination with immediate reprisals, it said in statement received by AFP.

“We, the Ezzedin al-Qassam leaders, have decided to take immediate reprisals, like an earthquake that will hit everywhere to destroy the Zionist presence,” said the statement, adding that the response would be “unexpected.”

Hamas representative in Lebanon Osama Hamdan said “from now on there would be no limits” to resistance attacks against the Israeli occupiers.

The Israeli security cabinet last week decided to increase onslaughts against Hamas and its leadership.

In September 2003, IOF dropped a 550-pound bomb on a building where Yasin was meeting with top Hamas leaders. Everyone escaped relatively unscathed; Yassin received a slight wound on his hand.

A childhood sporting accident left Yasin almost completely paralyzed and in recent years he went nearly blind, with poor hearing. But for all his physical frailty, he had compelling charisma.

Yassin was born in 1937 in what is now the Israeli city of Ashqelon, and his family, like those of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, was uprooted in 1948 with the founding of Israel. He grew up in Palestinian refugee camps in the Gaza Strip.

He made a name for himself as a teacher and spiritual leader. The first Palestinian uprising, which erupted in December 1987, put Yasin on the political map. Yasin and nearly 400 other group members were jailed in a mass raid in late 1989 before all except him were deported to Lebanon.

He was convicted by an IOF military court of organizing attacks on civilians and ordering the kidnappings of two Israeli soldiers and was sentenced to life in prison.

In jail, Yassin suffered from a variety of ailments, including chronic bronchitis and eye and ear maladies.

But fate — in the form of one of Israel’s worst espionage blunders — intervened to free him in 1997. After a botched assassination attempt in Jordan against Hamas leader Khalid Mish’al, Israel was forced to release dozens of Palestinian prisoners, including Yassin, following interference by the late king Hussein.

Yasin made his second homecoming to Gaza in June 1998. More than 10,000 cheering followers packed a rundown Gaza City soccer stadium to welcome him back.

Israel has assassinated more than 150 Palestinian anti-occupation activists in what Israeli officials dub “targeted killings of terrorists” since the current Intifada broke out in September 2000, according to Palestinian medical officials.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news